New Update Brings Collaborative Editing To Google Docs Android App

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It’s safe to say we’ve all been in a situation where a few extra pairs of eyes could come in handy, and the folks at Google know just how that feels. In an effort to give people that backup when they need it, they’ve just pushed out a useful new update to the Google Docs Android app.

The update’s biggest draw is the addition of live, multi-user editing — after sharing the document with your closest confidantes, any changes made will carry over to each person’s device in real time. To help with the mobile editing process, Google has also added the ability to pinch-zoom between page and paragraph views, not to mention some much-needed formatting tweaks. Need to bold a particularly thoughtful passage, or point out a lousy turn of phrase with some red ink? Now you can.

Of course, there’s nothing like a human slant to make even the most utilitarian updates grab you by the heartstrings. Google’s demo video tells the charming story of a guy doing some last-minute prep on a speech, and I half-expected it to highlight the other side of the collaborative editing coin: that more voices involved doesn’t always lead to a better final product.

It didn’t, of course, but I could definitely imagine a few of my friends clogging up a heartfelt speech with off-color jokes if I were in the same spot.

The moral of the story? Keep your friends close, and your collaborative editors even closer.